Sunday, September 30, 2012

Heart & Sole Half-Marathon Disaster

AM: 20 min w/u
13.?? mile race in 1:21:11 (1st**) $350 (off course)
40 min c/d, 20+ miles

1st with many ***..let me explain...

I typically like to run a half about 3 weeks out from a full, so when I found this race online and saw that it was in Jonesboro and the payout was decent, I expected I would run into Leah Thorvilson (who is coming off an injury) and Zamzam Sangau. I was right, they both showed up.

Before I go any further I would just like to clarify..I did not truly beat Leah and Zamzam. There was a whole lot of chaos around mile 6 with us all running off course...them much farther off course then myself because I had let them gap me a good bit. It was just a huge worth an explanation.

I had viewed the reviews of this race online and knew it would be difficult. It was net uphill, but the recent course modifications mentioned that they had removed a few of the hills and promised a mix of "hills and flat" (...haha...right). It also offered a cash purse, and being that Jonesboro was just a short drive from Memphis, I expected a decent amount of elites...even when the race director denied us all a waived entry because the race was for charity.

Things didn't unfold well the day before for me to race well. Friday I left work early and had got on the road just after 2pm, planning to arrive in Jonesboro around 6:00pm, but a bad accident and road construction just outside of Olive Brand left me sitting at a dead stop for 2.5 hours. By the time I finally got to my hotel room it was 9:30pm, all I had eaten for the day was a yogurt, a chicken sandwich and some gatorade. I downed a power bar and went to bed.

Warming up that morning my hamstrings were super tight from spending the better half of yesterday in the car..but my energy felt ok. When we finally got started (the start line was us standing in the middle of the road with the race director sounding an air horn) I immediately felt drained. We went through the first mile in 5:55...not fast..but I just wasn't feeling it. I made the decision to drop back for a few miles until I felt comfortable again.

Just before mile 2 we hit the hills...and they just kept coming. It wasn't just hills either, there were so many turns that I was unsure if we were running the right direction, I figured someone up front knew the way..I could see Hillary Kogo ahead of Leah and Zamzam...he seemed to be leading things. At about mile 5 I started to feel good again, but I missed a turn (through a parking lot) that undid some of the work I had done to catch this point if I didn't start working I wouldn't be able to close the gap..and I wasn't closing it very fast. I could see Zamzam slip back a bit, but I couldn't tell if Leah was dropping her much or not.

It was just after mile 6 when things went sour...there was a bigger gap now. Leah was at the top of the hill, Hillary had turned around and was running back towards Leah, Zamzam was on the hill and I was at the bottom. All of a sudden a lady in a white van came screeching up behind me and shouted "Hey, you are running the Heart & Sole??!! you are going the wrong way! You need to go that way!" I stopped and turned around, she was pointed behind me to my left. I somewhat didn't believe her, there was no one standing there and no sign..but she seemed absolutely certain. I started running towards her and shouted "Ok, you need to go get them! There is three people up there...they went the wrong way too!!!" She looked puzzled and then she noticed the others and took off. I started running in the direction she told me was "the right way".

There was no one on the course.

I thought I was lost. Every once in a while I noticed an arrow on the pavement so I went in that direction. I felt like I hit a million turns...and the hills just kept coming. Every mile or so I would see someone at the side of the road and ask "Is this the right way" And they would tell me "Yes" or "No, go left/right." At one point I followed a turn right onto the edge of the highway...a suburban passed by me on my left...a big gust of wind in my face. I thought "Is this really the course? Someone is going to get hit by a car" (BTW, the third place male did get hit by a car) I just kept following the arrows...hoping that I would see someone that would assure me I was going the right way.

Then Hillary caught me and I immediately felt better. He was in 4th place when he missed the turn..I don't know how far out of third but he was pretty unhappy. I let him vent for about a was just nice to run with somebody after 9 lonely miles. We finally saw a marker for mile 10 which we passed through in just under 62 minutes. I laughed a little bit. I didn't know how far I had already ran ( I forgot my Garmin at home) but this course and this race was just funny to me...I guess. The time was irrelevant at this point.

Hillary told me he was going to try and run the last 3 miles I held on as best I could. I think he kind of got comfortable running with me so he let me tag along and I was surprised at how good I felt after we picked up the pace. The last 3 miles flew by..and once I saw the parking lot for the Malco theater I kicked it in hard...not sure why as the time didn't even matter. Hillary kind of coached me through it - which I appreciated very much. Zamzam and Leah finished shortly after.

Everyone was pretty upset, especially Leah being that she was leading when she missed the turn (she would have won). I suggested we split the pot, that way we all go home with $350. Everyone seemed to be ok with this..we all got trophy's and no one went home empty handed.

As for me, I got 80 minutes of semi-hard running in. (10 miles tempo, 3 miles hard running). The disappointing thing is I don't know how fast or how far. I guess, it is what it is...a great big mess.

On another note--the BEST pre-race food I have ever seen. After twenty miles I filled up on fruit, yogurt, granola, breakfast casserole, gatorade, frozen yogurt, quiche, diet and regular soda, bacon, sausage, homemade almost made up for the earlier events....almost.

The rest of the weekend was family filled fun!

Good luck to everyone running/racing this weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tempo Tuesday

After being sick all weekend + Monday, Tuesday morning I woke up expecting to get some kind of a workout in. I ran for about 2 min and realised it wasn't going to happen...I still felt like garbage.
Sooo...I went back to bed, woke up over an hour later to get Maddy up and ready for daycare/work.
Tuesday afternoon I wasn't feeling awesome but when I jumped on the treadmill my legs felt good (maybe because I had only cover 10 total miles in 2 days) so I decided I would try running hard and see what happened.

I'm running Heart & Sole Half so I didn't want to go crazy but I did want to run fast. I decided 30 minutes of tempo would do the trick.

20 min @ 6:45
3x1 min @ 5:20 w/ 30 rest
30min @ 5:49

No cooldown (had a program I had to get to)

Even though the treadmill gives you super powers and allows you to do crazy stuff that you can't do in real life ( 0 incline, no wind, etc. etc.) It was enough to make me feel like I worked hard, but didn't kill myself. I'm not sure what effort that is running on the road but with 13.1 miles of hard running this Saturday...and this stupid stomach flu I've been battling...its good enough for me.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Long run at Boardtown

AM: 20 miles w/ 17@6:40avg at Boardtown
Pickups at miles 16,17,19 (6:10,6:16,6:00)
Had to get this one in solo. I guess all my running friends took off on glamours vacations this weekend and forgot to invite me (jk).

I wanted to go 21-22 this morning but my stomach was upset the whole time and I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with something. After 4 trips into the bush I stopped keeping track. I had no problem pushing the pace when I needed to, but overall I knew I didn't feel quite right and had to keep myself from throwing up on multiple occasions.
Once again another 90+ miles in7 days (8 runs)

Which brings me to the end of this training cycle, and only 4 week until the Columbus Marathon. I have never worked harder than I have since the Spring when I decided to just go after it and hopefully not fall to pieces. I have done some incredible workouts, and I have also fell flat on my face multiple times dealing with dehydration, fatigue, and S.I. problems. I am excited about the next 4 weeks and seeing what I can put together. I know that its not all about this one race, if it goes well...awesome. If I fail? Then I will start focusing on the next one.

Good luck to everyone training and racing this weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Great article about America's obesity trend

Just some reading for the average citizen concerned about the U.S. obesity rate
(The Huffington Post)

....and some inspiration for you to get up and do something about it.

Wednesday Tempo

4:45 AM: 2mile w/u
7 mile tempo loop in 41:37 ( first mile easy in 6:20, last 6 miles 5:53 avg)
3 mile c/d

I am extremely pleased with how this run went because I was really worried about this workout for the past week. I have been sitting pretty logging tempos at 6:15 pace (marathon pace) so I knew trying to get my legs to go sub-6 for 7 miles was going to be a challenge.

I started out easy for the sake of my hip, and after clocking a 6:20 for the first mile I really got after it. It took about 2 more miles for my legs to really respond to the pace (I won't lie, I was a little worried). By mile two I was completely alone (one friend is training for a half-iron man, the other is running a 50K in a few weeks so sub-6 was really not the goal) and by mile 3 I found my stride and didn't feel like I was about to fall out at any minute, if anything I let me legs dictate the pace while paying no attention to my Garmin.

I won't say that my hip is completely fixed, but it is almost back to where it was before the S.I. relapse. I didn't get tight until mile 6 and I was still able to maintain once I hit the last hill on South Montgomery. This loop is not flat, its got 3 really good ups and downs and some nice long stretches that make it a great loop for tempo. Last year I ran this loop in 43:01 preparing for the Atlanta 13.1 (I ran 1:20:37 there) so things are continuing to fall into place!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This past week's log.

Monday: 12 miles on the roads at a good pace
Tuesday: 20min w/u, 15x 80sec @5:18 pace, 40 sec jog rec., 20min c/d (treadmill)
Wednesday: 80 minutes
Thursday: 80 minutes
Friday: 1.5 mile w/u, 14.56 miles at 6:16 pace on hilly road loop,1.5 mile c/d
Saturday: AM:31 min easy w/ the jogger, PM: 36 min (treadmill)
Sunday: 2 hour run @7:15avg (watched 3 episodes of 24 while on the treadmill)

Just shy of 90 miles for the week and I'm feeling pretty good about it! 

Houston traveled to Nashville with the team so I got a chance to take Maddy out in the jogger Saturday. I really enjoy the runs we get to go on together...we had a good weekend.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Marathon Simulator Run

1.5 mile w/u
3 laps of the hilly campus 5 in 1:31:24 (ended up actually being 14.56 miles at 6:16 pace w/ Garmin)
6:28, 6:21, 6:12, 6:24, 6:02, 6:23, 6:16, 6:22, 6:19, 6:05, 6:26, 6:01, 6:14, 6:22, 3:18 (.56)
~6:16 avg pace
1.5 mile c/d

Before anyone freaks out that the 5 mile loop is crazy short, I would like to confess that I cut the median 3 times before the turn in front of the coliseum. It cuts off a lot more than most people realize, and I did it today because the traffic was absolutely terrible. I didn't plan this run very well and spent about 10 miles of it battling morning traffic on campus.

Seeing as I was going to miss Boardtown Saturday morning to take a bus 40 miles outside of Starkville to glean a sweet potato field with nearly 50 MSU students (and Maddy), about the only time I could get this workout in (with someone to offer me moral support) was Friday morning. I had planned on arriving to work late and allow myself sufficient time for breakfast and warmup....but none of that happened.

I woke up late, wasted lots of time getting ready and ended up barely warming up before I toed the line in front of the Shira. I figured I would use the first few miles to warm up anyway.

Being that I was running this workout solo, almost immediately I was bored. I had planned on being conservative early but 6:28 was really slow. I felt like it was uncomfortable slow, it wasn't fast enough to be tempo and it was just slow enough to make me get too comfortable for a few miles. I really had a hard time staying consistent with the pacing (maybe it was because of the hills?), and every time I hit a nice flat/downhill section I easily ran 6:00 miles.

I guess the best way to say it is that this workout felt "blah". I don't feel like I really busted my butt, if anything I feel like my goals are mediocre compared to what I should and can be running. I know I am still battling the S.I. issues, and I am going to P.T. for that, but I just don't feel like I put the effort into this marathon simulator like I have done in the past. Part of it may be because I was running this alone. I remember one point at about mile 10-11 when Houston handed me the bottle and I said. "I'm not tired, this is not hard. I'ts just very boring." I feel like I was just waiting to run hard and I never really got after it. I guess in the end this is probably best. I'm about to hit another 90+ mile week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quick morning speed workout

20min w/u
15x 80sec @5:18 pace, 40 sec jog recovery (jump of treadmill and jog into the kitchen recovery)
20min c/d

Not your typical marathon prep workout, but Monday's 12 miler ended up being a pretty solid pace and my quads are still screaming from the 2:30 long run this past weekend.

I felt like I needed to do something shorter and faster.

This workout was awesome. Not too easy and not too hard either. I suppose to have a very difficult session later this week so I didn't want to over do it today. Overall, good session.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Training week worthy of a blog

Sunday: 17 miles w/ 12 miles at alternating fast/slow miles (6:16 avg) (treadmill)
Monday: 13 miles solid pace on South Farm (team's long run)
Tuesday: 8 miles easy
Wednesday: 12 miles (treadmill)
Thursday: 3 mile w/u, 6X 1 mile on hilly road loop w/ garmin, 90 sec rest (5:45, 5:40, 5:42, 5:41, 5:47, 5:19). 3 mile c/d
Friday: 74 minutes easy
Saturday 2:30 long run at Boardtown (extremely humid, really struggled at the end)

~92 miles in 7 days in 7 runs

I cramped really bad on Saturday starting at about 13 miles. It started in my lower back and ran all the way to my toes. I didn't care to much about it, I had a great week and I finished the long run regardless.

I'm not hitting triple digits but I did hit another 90, which is big for me.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Memphis Twilight & 12 miles at marathon pace

After Tuesday's failed workout I ended up getting a referral from my doctor to return to physical therapy and another dose pack. I logged an embarrassingly low mileage recover week and even got in for a one hours session with the team's massage therapist (Jack). Everything helped  and I was confident I could run the Memphis Twilight Meet on Saturday night. I had no idea what to expect....17:30...? 18:30?... I had every intention of racing yesterday.

By the time I had to start warming up it was already dark. I had Maddy with me, so I didn't get much chance to do any pre-race stuff until about 50 minutes before. Still, my legs felt good and my energy was high, I was really looking forward to getting out there with no expectations what-so-ever then just run hard.

The JV and high school races were before the college division so there was a couple thousand people lined all along the course. It was quite exciting, and very different then the low-key road races that I had been running recently (minus the whole Chicago fiasco). About 15 minutes before our 8:40PM start, I was already spiked up and running strides when I noticed that no other teams were present. After asking someone that looked like they knew what was going on, I was told that my race was delayed at least 50 minutes because of lightning. Damn.

I jogged lightly back to were Maddy was. I explained to friends that my race would not go off for another hour, and that they should probably get going. Houston had ran to get something from his truck (he had just drove from Georgia, to Starkville, and then to Memphis to watch my race - what a freakin amazing husband) so I grabbed Maddy and the jogger and started walking back to the car. It wasn't 30 seconds later and the bottom fell out of the sky catching Maddy and I along with it.

I was fine with the torrential downpour being that I had been running, but Maddy was not happy. I tried to keep the top of the jogger from blowing up and allowing the rain to soak her hair and clothes, but it was hard...the wind was blowing so bad.
After a few minutes were were completely drenched. I finally managed to make it to the car, putting a screaming Maddy nicely into her car seat, throwing the rest of our crap into the back seat, and turning on the ignition to get Maddy's DVD to start playing again. It wasn't 2 minutes after I buckled her in and wrapped her in a blanket that she was fast asleep.
The next 30 minutes or so Houston and I played phone tag, he didn't know where I was and I had no idea where he had been able to take shelter. The rain never broke so he eventually just found his way to my side of the course, and we were able to discuss our next step...which was to go home.

I was disappointed at first...then I was relieved. The course was under 6 inches of water now, and it would be crazy to try and race given the situation with my hip. Nonetheless, me needed to get our 2 year old home in her was 10PM and we still had three hours of driving ahead of us.

The ride home was very unpleasant. The rain didn't let up until Tupelo, and we heard multiple radio announcements for Tornado warning in counties that we had just recently been driving through. This just further justified that we made the right decision.

We slept late Sunday morning, and I woke up I realized we didn't have much food. Like an idiot, I ate only Gus, coffee, and sports drink before jumping on the treadmill for a quick 17 mile run. As a result, I only felt awesome for the first 30 min or so at 7min pace. I had planned on running 12 miles at up/down tempo. I would start out at 6:11 pace and working under 6:00 on the hard miles, and recover with a 6:31 miles

4.2 mile w/u, 1.2 mile c/d
6:31, 6:11, 6:31, 6:07, 6:31, 6:03, 6:31, 6:00, 6:31, 5:56, 6:31, 5:51 (6:16 avg for 12 miles)

for the first 4 miles I tried to keep the incline at .5, but when I started to tire I left it at 0. This workout was harder than I thought it would be. I feel like it would have been much easier just to run 12 miles @ 6:16 pace then to vary the pace so much. Overall, I was pleased with the workout, the effort, and even though my hip did lock up some on the harder miles, I was able to finish feeling tired but good about the whole thing.

Houston and I grabbed a hamburger before heading out to run some pre Labor Day errands. It was enough to make me feel normal again. Even though the hip is a problem, it seems like I will be able to manage just fine putting together workouts like the one above. Hope everyone had a great week.